Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Earth Day: The Importance of Native Graduates in Environmental Studies and Green Collar Jobs


April 23, 2021

People across the nation will be celebrating Earth Day this Thursday, April 22. But for Tribal communities, Earth Day is year-round. The American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) provides Tribal colleges and universities and their students study and internship opportunities that allow them to make a deeper impact on the environmental health of their communities. This is important because Indigenous communities are disproportionately exposed to environmental contaminants in their homelands, such as mining runoff and water contamination, and cultural activities and practices put Indigenous people in closer contact with their environments than other racial and ethnic groups, according to scientific research cited by the National Institutes of Health.

This interview with American Indian College Fund staff members Kendra Teague, the College Fund’s Program Officer for Environmental Stewardship, and Jack Soto (Diné/Cocopah), the College Fund’s Senior Program Manager for Career Readiness and Employment, explores the work we do with tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) and their students that is so important to our communities, our institutions, and our Earth.

Dina Horwedel: Kendra, can you share why environmental curricula at TCUs are key to so many issues?


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